In the thread re: Makeovers, some of the suggestions for making over
next year's eligibles including suggestions geared to changing a skaters
image. By suggesting that they 'change' or work against their given
image, the author, DesertRoaz, implied that the skaters would be more
successful if they did indeed work against that image. For example, she
thought that Maria Butyrskaya should work against her image of the
blonde bombshell/sex appeal skater and that Anna Rechnio might be too
much flash and that flash overpowers her skating. While I'm not
disagreeing specifically with the author on her opinions, I'm wondering
if 'image' really does affect judging.
These are mine:
Nicole Bobek. Image: Inconsistency and the 'bad-girl' of skating. I
think Nicole is an good example of how image does not seem to affect the
judging. When she puts it together, the judges ignore her image and
give her credit for her skating.
Todd Eldredge. During pre-Oly hype, he was characterized (not by me)
as 'dull' or predictable and, as a result, some commentators thought he
didn't have as much of a chance. Todd himself seemed to buy into that
image and the subsequent worries when he changed his short, thinking it
would show his sense of humor. I don't think it worked for him, and, if
he had kept his previous short, he would have been more confident
throughout. The image of 'dullness' perceived by some commentators, to
me, is more adequately defined as consistency. I think the judges would
have rewarded Todd for his consistent skate, not his 'dull' image.
Michelle Kwan. Image: The Whole Package--everything that judges want
skating to be. This image led to many if not all people believing that
she would win the Olys hands down. It was all over the media, this news
group, etc. If there were bets placed, I'm sure they were mostly in her
favor. Clearly, this image did not affect the judges' decision.
Rudy Galindo. Image: Has-Been who was too 'different' to win. Rudy's
skating and his will overcame this image. 'Nuff said.
While a lot of talk regarding skating revolves around judging and the
subjectivity of judging, I just don't see that image really makes a
difference in a judges decision. The skating overcomes the image and
that, the skating, is what a skater is responsible for.